WE’RE THE MILLERS
*** (out of 5)
August 7, 2013
Jennifer Aniston as ROSE O’REILLY
Jason Sudeikis as DAVID CLARK
Will Poulter as KENNY ROSSMORE
Emma Roberts as CASEY MATHIS
Ed Helms as BRAD GURDLINGER
Nick Offerman as DON FITZGERALD
Kathryn Hahn as EDIE FITZGERALD
Molly Quinn as MELISSA FITZGERALD
Studio: Warner Bros.
Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
Movies released in August are like movies released directly to home video. They can’t quite cut it in the competitive summertime marketplace of May, June and July, so studios drop them into that nether region that is not quite summer and not quite fall. Consequently, I don’t expect much from them, and they usually don’t deliver the goods as well as they could.
But it’s all fine because they’re August releases. I expect that from them.
That can be good or bad with a film. If it’s an anticipated movie that I’m hoping will be top-notch, it’s inevitably a let-down. However, if it’s a movie that might be good for a few laughs, I tend to be much easier on it.
Had “We’re the Millers” been released in early June (like, say, “The Internship”), I probably would have hated it. However, I wasn’t expecting something to the level of similar films like “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” or “Horrible Bosses” because it was buried at the end of the summer. I was expecting a mildly funny movie, but not a knee-slapping piece of brilliant comedy.
And I got exactly what I expected.
“We’re the Millers” tells the story of David (Jason Sudeikis), a low-level drug dealer who agrees to smuggle a shipment of marijuana from Mexico to pay off a debt. So as to not draw attention to himself, he fakes a family with a stripper (Jennifer Aniston), a street punk (Emma Roberts) and a dorky kid living in his building (Will Poulter).
I’m not going to say that all the funniest parts of the movie are in the trailer because there’s plenty of R-rated content in the film, filled with swear words and inappropriate imagery. However, for the most part, the trailers show the funniest scenes. Watching the film gives you basically extended versions of those scenes. To their credit, there are some laughable moments throughout the film, even if they are fairly predictable.
The movie succeeds in the smaller moments with one-liner zingers lofted from character to character, and much of the humor is derived from the shenanigans that happen during the trip. Unfortunately, as the movie moves into the third act, it’s as if the director realized that he needed to develop characters and story. Consequently, much of the last half of the film is focused on trying to build some real relationships, which softens the overt comedy of the piece.
When all is said and done, “We’re the Millers” is good for a few laughs thought not a great (or even memorable comedy). I’ve never been a Jennifer Aniston fan, but I appreciate her move to these harsher, edgier roles rather than the good girls roles, which are often just boring for her. And it doesn’t hurt that she does a nice striptease in the film. Like I said, I’m not a fan, but I concede that she looks fantastic for a 44-year-old… or a 33-year-old even. (But you knew that already, didn’t you?)
I’ll forget about “We’re the Millers” in a week, but I can’t say I didn’t laugh more than not while watching the film, and that’s what makes it work.